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SEPTA renames U City regional rail stop | The Triangle

SEPTA renames U City regional rail stop

The SEPTA station is now named Penn Medicine to reflect the presence of CHOP and Penn in U City. (Photograph by Ben Ahrens for The Triangle.)

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is renaming its University City Station, part of its regional rail network, effective immediately.

The busy stop at 3149 Convention Blvd. has been renamed to Penn Medicine Station as part of a multimillion-dollar deal with the health system based in West Philadelphia. Penn Medicine and SEPTA agreed to the $3.3 million deal, giving the world-renowned academic medical center the naming rights under a five-year contract.

According to SEPTA board chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr.  the profits from the Penn Medicine deal will pay for “everyday costs” necessary for running the transit system.

“This agreement with Penn Medicine will deliver major benefits to our customers and other taxpayers who help fund the Authority’s operations,” Deon said.

Nearly 6,400 customers pass through the West Philadelphia station daily. These passengers will see new Penn Medicine signage, maps and technology appear at the stop over the coming weeks.

According to The Philadelphia Tribune, the partnership with SEPTA comes at a perfect time for Penn Medicine, as their newest hospital, the Pavilion, plans to open its doors at 1 Convention Ave. on campus. The new facility is expected to greatly increase traffic in the area, including Penn Medicine Station.

“As the gateway to the Pavilion and our West Philadelphia medical campus, thousands of people each day pass through [the] SEPTA station en route to work, visit and receive care in our facilities, and [we are] so thrilled for the opportunity for the station to bear the Penn Medicine name,” said Kevin Mahoney, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “We are proud to partner with SEPTA to enhance the rider experience for our public transit system, which is a crucial part of what keeps our great city running each day.”

A partnership of this type — one that requires the rebranding one of its stations — is not a first for SEPTA.

“Penn Medicine Station is SEPTA’s fourth big rebrand in recent memory,” The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote. “Pattison Station [became] AT&T Station for $5.44 million in 2010 before changing to NRG Station in 2018 for $5.25 million. The former Market East Station was rebranded to Jefferson Station in 2014 for $4 million.”